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A Common Pathway: Asthma and Allergic Rhinitis

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Historically, the structural and functional differences within the respiratory tract have been the basis for separating the airway into upper and lower entities. For centuries, researchers suggested similar mechanisms in asthma and rhinitis. The implications of such a connection are significant in that asthma and allergic rhinitis (AR) are associated with a high prevalence in adults and children, substantial health care costs, and, often, serious negative effects on quality of life. The importance of the unified airway hypothesis lies in the rational approach to treatment. Management approaches that consider the association between asthma and AR may improve overall outcomes in patients with both diseases. Because the treatment of AR may affect concomitant asthma, significant improvements in health status may occur in some patients. The following review discusses the epidemiology of asthma and AR, provides evidence for common pathophysiological mechanisms, and discusses a therapeutic approach that has positive effects on both diseases, and thereby may maximize benefits and outcomes for patients with concomitant asthma and AR.
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Document Type: Regular Paper

Publication date: 01 November 2002

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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